protective hair styles

The Benefits of Protective Hair Styling

The term protective style refers to any hairstyle that keeps the ends of the hair tucked away and minimizes manipulation. Keeping hair styled in a protective manner spares its ends from damaging weather conditions and over manipulation, which can lead to breakage and split ends.
Hair can be effectively protected from the elements when styled in a protective manner. The warm weather can be detrimental to natural hair because of its heat. Water and sweat are also a threat to natural hair. You can prevent breakage and promote growth by using protective styles.
Some of the benefits of protective hairstyling include;
Weather-proof: During certain seasons, protective styles are hot on the market. Protective styling for your hair is always recommended due to its always-vulnerable nature.
Low Maintenance: Many of us maintain schedules that do not allow us to spend hours in the mirror before starting our day. If you like not having to fuss with your hair every day, protective styling can help you. A protective style is high-maintenance when installing the style, but after that, you’re giving your hair a much-needed break.
Length Retention: Protective styles prevent breakage that leads to longer hair. You won’t see much growth if your hair is breaking as fast as it grows. Protective styling helps you to see how much your hair has grown by preserving the eldest parts of your hair, the ends.
Moisture Retention: The weather drastically impacts the amount of moisture that natural hair is able to maintain. When your hair isn’t in a protective style, it is more prone to tangling, dryness, and breakage due to moisture loss. Eliminating these factors can help you lock in moisture which eliminates breakage.
Protective styles are not to be neglected. We must still care for the hair and scalp while wearing a protective style. Be careful to monitor your protective style properly. Your hair will show you when it is ready to come down out of the hairstyle.

 

Here are some ways you can tell that your protective style is ready to come out:

 

Your rate of hair growth;
Some protective styles will last 4 weeks, others last 12 weeks. The standard time is 6 to 8 weeks before removal. Your hair texture, density, and lifestyle will be the deciding factor in when that style needs to come down. New hair growth that is an inch long automatically needs to come out and be redone. Hair grows about half an inch a month.
Hair locticians know that hair locks an inch away from the scalp. So when your hair has grown in the style an inch or more, know that locking is possible. If having locked hair is undesirable to you then slowly and carefully remove the hairstyle, clean, and condition your hair. Let it rest a few days before reapplying for a new long-term protective style.
The new hair growth is natural hair that can be seen growing from your scalp.
As your hair grows, styles like box braids and two-strand twists will loosen. This is one sign that it’s time to take out your protective style.

Another sign is visible build-up in your hair.
Continue to clean your hair and mind your scalp while you have a protective style in. This can prolong the wear of the style. Prevent build-up in your hair as much as possible by using the right products and avoiding the wrong ones. Jojoba oil and rosemary oil are examples of the right products for protective styles, olive oil, and petroleum jellies are examples of the wrong pore-clogging products that lead quickly to build up. Build-up is inevitable but the process can be slowed. when you see it, know that time has come to remove your protective style.

Aim to wash your hair bi-weekly to remove any build-up and keep your protective style refreshed. You should also lightly oil your scalp to avoid flaking and dandruff. Braid spray is great as a moisturizer to prevent breakage, promote growth, and maintain moisture without adding heavily to build-up as time passes by.

If you believe that you could benefit from protective styling here are some examples of protective hairstyles for afro-textured hair only (other hair types are warned, these styles are not conducive to healthy hair and scalp practices for you):
Box braids
cornrows
top knot bun
Faux Locs
Crochet hair
Wig
Flat twist
Two strand twist